Man Pleads Guilty In ‘Tri-Cities’ Bank Robberies


CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A man arrested on suspicion of being the “Tri-Cities Bandit” pleaded guilty Tuesday to a series of Southern California bank robberies over the summer, federal prosecutors said.

Ernest Ivar Viana, 39, was charged in September with a dozen counts of bank robbery. His alleged getaway driver, 42-year-old Oleg Gorokhovsky, was charged with four counts of aiding and abetting, according to prosecutors.

The pair were arrested after a holdup at a First California Bank branch in Westlake Village, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

Viana pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II to bank heists in July and August in Glendale, Tarzana, Los Angeles, La Verne, Pasadena and Westlake Village, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The judge set March 12 for sentencing.

In the final robbery, bank employees in Westlake Village told Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies that a suspect identified as Viana…

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About edwardgangi

Teacher at Kennedy Jr. High School. Proud parent of Zoe and Alicia. I enjoy fishing, skiing, and sailing. I also tutor GRE and SAT prep classes. I reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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